The Health Sciences Biomedical Research Facility II (BRF2) building, which opened in 2014 on the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine campus, has been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Biomedical Research Facility II at UC San DIego School of Medicine. Credit: UC San Diego
The $113 million, 196,000-square-foot building houses a diverse array of programs, including bioinformatics, genomic medicine, pathology, immunology, psychiatry, neurosciences, glycobiology, infectious diseases and gastrointestinal medicine.
LEED certification emphasizes measurable and sustainable green construction technologies, such as water and energy efficiencies, indoor air quality, materials used and innovations in building performance. Platinum certification is the highest LEED designation. There are four levels: certified, silver, gold and platinum.
Designed by ZGF Architects, BRF2 was built from the ground up with platinum certification in mind. As with other LEED-certified buildings at UC San Diego, BRF2 leverages San Diego’s iconic natural elements of abundant sunlight and cool ocean breezes.
Among its particular features: Moisture generated by the cooling system and non-potable water collected from numerous sites within building is recycled to provide 100 percent irrigation of outside lawn; all plumbing is low-flow and can use non-potable water; windows are operable and employ both fixed and computer controlled exterior shading; specialized systems and equipment monitor and optimize energy usage in labs; building materials selected for low emission of volatile organic compounds, with much recycled and locally sourced.
The campus boasts more than 20 LEED-certified buildings. BRF2 is the second UC San Diego building to received platinum certification. The Charles David Keeling apartments in Revelle College, built in 2011, were awarded platinum the following year.
The U.S. Green Building Council is a consortium of member organizations and groups that advocate improved work and living spaces that are economically and environmentally sustainable through education, legislation and awards programs like LEED.